Apr 04 2011

San Marzano Sauce – Take 2

Posted by Seth in Food, Good Deals

A little update to my original post, because, well, I forgot to write some important steps and I also picked up a new kitchen gadget (thanks, Bed Bath 20% coupons!).

Before adding all of the tomatoes, you’ll want to deglaze all the garlic and onion goodness on the bottom of the pot with some red wine – probably about a cup.

The only difference as far as method / technique this time around is my spiffy new food mill. Instead of screwing around with picking out the stems and seeds, this neat thing does it for you !   $40 at Bed Bath after using one of their 10 bazillion 20% coupons I get in the mail. It made for a smoother sauce with less chunks, I like it.

San Marzanos through the food mill

Mar 18 2011

San Marzano Tomato Gravy

Posted by Seth in Food

Big 'ole can of San Marzanos

 San Marzano tomatoes are sweet and low on seeds, making them perfect for sauce.  If you want to read more about San Marzano tomatoes and why they are the bomb, Google is your friend 🙂

Lee and I took a trip to the restaurant supply and they had 5lb 10oz can’s of these babies for about 6 bucks.  The recipe below is nothing revolutionary in the gravy world, it’s about the same way that everyone I know makes it. The only thing different for me this time around was the use of San Marzanos, and pepperoni.  The pepperoni idea came from a friend of mine, his wife makes it that way.  Normally I’d make some meatballs with Roz’s (Big Joe’s Mom) recipe and toss them in the gravy for some meaty goodness to deliver flavor, but I thought I’d give this a shot.

Disclaimer: this is the first of many recipes I will be posting .. for the most part I don’t usually measure things, I cook by taste and eyeball most things. Learn to do the same and you’ll have a lot more fun cooking.

Pepperoni in gravy?? Read on ...


  1. 5 lb 10 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes. Dump them into a bowl first, you’ll want to pick out the stems (whatever you call it) and pick off the skin if it allows
  2. Basil, Oregano, Italian parsely – fresh if you got it, dried will do
  3. Pepperoni, chopped into chunks (see the pic) – about 2 cups or so
  4. 6oz can of tomato paste
  5. Onion, two or 3 small yellow or sweet ones, diced up
  6. Garlic, dice up some fresh or use a few heaping spoonfuls of the minced stuff out of the jar.  In my house, there is no such thing as too much garlic


San Marzano gravy

aaaand everyone goes into the pot


  1. Hit the bottom of your pot with a coating of olive oil, and turn the heat to medium high. Toss in the onions and garlic and let them sweat
  2. Once it smells delicious in your kitchen, and the onions are about clear and garlic is starting to brown, throw in a couple tablespoons of your herbs, about a handful of fresh stuff or a few tablespoons of the dried stuff. Stir it up.
  3. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, give it a good stir.  Leave the heat around medium to avoid a tomato volcano
  4. Heat up a frying pan to medium-high and toss in the pepperoni. Brown them up then toss them in the sauce.  I’m on a diet, so I picked them out of the pan this time, but Fat Seth would have thrown in the pepperoni and all the oily goodness that fried out of it
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Stir every 10 minutes or so.   Cooking time is personal preference and by taste, but any where over an hour will do the trick, no harm in 2.
  6. At the end, throw in more fresh herbs.   The reason I put them in the beginning AND the end is that cooking them will change the flavor, I want the flavors of both the cooked and the freshness of tossing them in at the end

That’s all.   When I did this, I came up with about 6 pints of sauce and I canned it in the trusty pressure canner (60 mins @ 15psi).   If you don’t can, then eat up the sauce fresh, or save it in the fridge/freezer.

San Marzano gravy

All canned up and ready for use... at some point in the future